Leaving behind a great amount of gaiety and jollity in the air, the curtains on the annual festival of tradition, culture and cuisines, amusement, shopping and other wowing experiences will come down today. The 21st edition of the Muscat Festival, organised under the theme “Unity and Joy”, offered both citizens and residents along with the visitors from across the world evenings packed with infotainment events that lasted for one complete month has been visited by nearly one million visitors ever since it was opened on January 10.
Various cultural, recreational, family, sports activities and artistic evenings and competitions that vied to meet the aspirations of the people visiting these grounds have been attracting huge crowds and promoting the Sultanate in the last few days.
According to the Muscat Municipality, the organiser in association with various ministries and public authorities, private and public entities, a record number of visitors, both male and female from across the continents have visited the main festival grounds, Amerat Park and Naseem Garden during the festival given three days’ exception due to torrential rains last week.
“The two festival grounds where the majority of the activities took place received nearly one million visitors, which includes both citizens and residents and tourists from various countries”, Ali bin Khalfan al Hasani, Assistant Chairman of Media Committee of the Muscat Festival, said.
A large plethora of socio-cultural display, adrenaline pumping rides, interesting amusements, shopping and gastronomic delights attracted visitors in large numbers every day. A wide array of activities, fun and frolic, fireworks, laser shows and many more were major crowd-pullers to the events.
A traditional village called Heritage Village, a large area for frankincence and its products, perfumery, and many more have been this year’s attractions besides daily cultural events and talks by eminent scholars and poets.
Rides from different countries, water balloons, stilt walkers and other amusements kept the little ones busy while the adults indulged in shopping and entertainment activities.
Besides, a hall with traditional handicrafts, artefacts from Iran, Ethiopia and Pakistan amused art lovers for its original, classy arts and crafts.
The Heritage Village at both venues offered diverse glimpses of authentic Omani culture at one place.
The curtains on the last concert were down at the open stage, which was led by Omani artist Turki Shuaibi and Omani artist Laila bint Naseeb on Thursday. The open theatre at the Naseem Gardens witnessed a healthy public interaction, which had both the artists in focus who have a large fan following in the Omani artistic arena. They were all enthralled by their renditions. Over the past years, the festival has acclaimed to be one of the tourist attractions of the Sultanate because of diverse cultural tourism programmes that satisfies the tastes of its citizens, residents and tourists from all over the Arab and the world. It has witnessed an unprecedented popularity across the region and beyond.
People from across the world who visited the festival grounds were able to enjoy a number of cultural and sporting events at the festival grounds. Children from different schools staged plays on the Sultanate and the life here besides a celebrity cricket match, in which players from the national cricket team from the Sultanate, artistes and celebrities from India participated to the cheering crowd.
Visitors said they took many pieces of information and knowledge along with souvenirs from the festival after witnessing the traditional Omani lifestyle, the replicated ancient villages, forms of arts and civilisation that existed in different parts of the country.